Golfer Chirag aims to defend Panasonic Open title

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Indian golfer Chiragh Kumar is all set to defend his title at the upcoming Panasonic Open, starting from December 1 at Delhi Golf Club (DGC) here.

Kumar recently finished tied-fourth in Manila which propelled him to the 40th place on the Order of Merit, putting him well inside the top-60 cut-off mark to retain his Tour card for the next season.

“I played solid last week. I putted well. It was nice to finish the way I did. I think I have kept my card for now. It’s a big relief heading into the last few events on the Asian Tour. I can go out there and play with that big pressure off my shoulder now,” Chirag said.

“There aren’t too many titles i have to defend so I am looking forward to going back there. It is good that I am playing well and I’ll carry some confidence heading into the event. There are so many memories from last year.

“It was so close to the very end and I knew I won only on the 18th green so that’s my fondest memory. It was an awesome feeling to grind it out and win,” added he.

Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant, who holds an unprecedented 18 victories on tour, will also feature in the tournament alongside countryman Prayad Marksaeng, as well as Indian stars Arjun Atwal, Rashid Khan and Gaganjeet Bhullar.

Young local prospect Shubhankar Sharma will also be looking to build on his recent form to target a maiden Asian Tour title on home soil.

Shubhankar, who claimed two top-fives in his last three appearances at the Panasonic Open, snatched the limelight when he fired two eagles in four holes to close with a whooping 10-under-par 62 in Manila last week.

“That was a special round. I haven’t played that well on the Asian Tour this year. I played well on the domestic Tour but just cannot get the same kind of confidence on the Asian Tour. I told myself that I have to play well as I need to keep my card for next year. I did that and it was really satisfying,” said Shubhankar, placed 57th on the Merit rankings.

–IANS

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